Cover Challenge

Cover Challenge

They say covers sell books and designing them takes a special skill. So I’m curious:  How much attention do we actually pay to those slaved-over images?

Below are pieces of book covers from Christian romance books which have been released within the last 12 months (May 2017-May 2018). Can you name each book from just a tiny peek at the cover? To make things easier, there is a list to choose from below the images.

AAn Unexpected Redemption - Puzzle Piece

BThe Captured Bride - Puzzle Piece

CThree Words and a Kiss - Puzzle Piece

DNo Other Will Do - Puzzle Piece

EThe Backcountry Brides Collection - Puzzle Piece

FThe Lady and the Lionheart - Puzzle Piece

GThis Wilderness Journey - Puzzle Piece

HLove Held Captive - Puzzle Piece

ICharming the Troublemaker - Puzzle Piece

JA Heart's Revolution - Puzzle Piece

Your possible answers in no particular order:

  1. Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper D. Basham
  2. Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak
  3. The Backcountry Brides Collection by Angela K. Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Pegg Thomas, Denise Weimer
  4. No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
  5. An Unexpected Redemption by Davalynn Spencer
  6. The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep
  7. This Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller
  8. A Heart’s Revolution by Roseanna M. White
  9. The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
  10. Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

See the full covers HERE!

Let’s chat!

How did you do? Did you guess them all? Did any of them stump you?

10 Awesome Books on Audible

10 Awesome Books on Audible

One of the great things about reviewing books is getting to read fantastic works earlier than most readers. One of the downsides is that by the time the audiobook releases for some of my favorites, I’m often too busy reading the next new release to get a chance to enjoy the audio versions.

That said, I do love a good audiobook, so I thought I’d share with you 10 awesome books currently available on Audible.

Since I have read and reviewed each one of these, I’m providing links to my reviews to help you with deciding which you’re in the mood for.

Book #1:

Long Time Gone audiobook cover art

Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

My Review5 Stars!

Book #2:

Heart on the Line audiobook cover art

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

My Review: 4 Stars!

Book #3:

The Thornbearer audiobook cover art

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham

My Review5 Stars!

Book #4:

The Thorn Keeper audiobook cover art

The Thorn Keeper by Pepper D. Basham

My Review: 4.5 Stars!

Book #5:

A Name Unknown audiobook cover art

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

My Review5 Stars!

Book #6:

Love Held Captive audiobook cover art

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

My Review5 Stars!

Book #7:

The Lady and the Lionheart audiobook cover art

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

My Review5 Stars!

Book #8:

Against the Tide audiobook cover art

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

My Review5 Stars!

Book #9:

Never Forget audiobook cover art

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

My Review5 Stars!

Book #10:

This one is newly released on Audible and I have enjoyed experiencing this story in a whole new way. I also recently reviewed this book on Goodreads and although I have mentioned it her previously (in a First Line Friday post and an interview with the author last summer), I never officially shared my review here. So below you will find the full text of my mini-review.

The Girl Who Could See audiobook cover art

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

My Review5 Stars!

I picked up this fantastic novella at a writers conference in June of 2017. I started reading it that night thinking I would just read a page or two and go to sleep. WRONG! I couldn’t stop reading! This book had my attention from the start and didn’t let go until the last page. Almost a year later, I still think about it and with the recent release of its audible version, I am actually revisiting this story – an extreme rarity for me. Even if you don’t normally read this genre, I highly recommend giving it a try. I read a lot, but I have never read anything quite as unique and entertaining as this. There is a Christian message in there, but it is subtle (without being weak) and completely organic.

 

Let’s Chat!

Have you listened to any of these books? What did you think of the narration? Do you prefer printed, digital, or audiobooks?

 

TWEETABLE:

Check out these 10 Awesome Books on Audible! #BookReviews #Audiobooks #ChristFic @KathleenDenly

My Review – His Frontier Christmas Family

My Review - His Frontier Christmas Family

about-the-book-2

A Family Made at Christmas

After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.

Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?

Why This Book:

If you’ve read my bio or followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a sucker for stories involving the fatherless.

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

Near Seattle, Washington Territory
December, 1874

Someone was watching her.

First Impressions:

The first chapter of this novel was uniquely compelling with its combination of one family’s life upheaval and an underlying sense of mysterious danger. I was never quite sure if Callie’s family was truly safe or what they might do next and I kept reading to find out.

Characters:

California “Callie” Murphy – Every male in her family has been struck by gold fever and Callie’s been left to pay the price for it, despite the best of intentions.

Levi Wallin – Made a mistake in his youth that continues to haunt him despite his faith and recent calling to become a pastor.

Frisco and Sutter Murphy – Callie’s 9 year old twin brothers, named after San Francisco and Sutter’s Mill. They are about as rambunctious and mischievous as you could want or expect two boys of their age to be.

Mica Murphy – Callie’s toddler niece; the son of her brother, Adam. Mica has a delightful disposition.

There is a whole Wallin family involved, with many brothers, a sister, and several sister-in-laws, not to mention Levi’s parents. However, they all spend about an equal amount of time “on screen” and we don’t get to know any of them in depth. Nevertheless, they still ring true as well-developed characters and you do get the sense there is more to their stories, which hints at the other books in the series without leaving you feeling you are missing any vital information regarding the story at hand – the story of Levi and Callie.

As is almost always the case, there are two or three more main characters whom I cannot identify without giving away their significance and possibly spoiling some of the intended surprise.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

This story was a slow, steady burn. It didn’t hurry me through, but it didn’t put me to sleep either. The characters were unique, sweet, and unpredictable enough to maintain my interest in what happened next in their lives.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

While I have no family members struck by gold fever, I felt I could relate to Callie’s situation of having been repeatedly burned in relationships and feeling reluctant to put herself back out there. I also liked seeing the true-to-life struggle of two people learning how to parent together when their individual natural inclinations don’t always entirely match.

Themes:

The theme of this novel is turning one’s eyes from the past and learning to appreciate the present while looking toward the future with optimism. Another way to put it would be:  Focusing on the past wastes the present and poisons the future.

Ending:

While there was a certain amount of predictability, I can’t dislike the predictability. I think it’s what we look for in this particular type of book. Also, the ending did hold a bit of a surprise for me as there was such a gap between particular events I’d nearly forgotten about the thread which created the twist.

Overall Rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)

Other Books in the Series


About the Author

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first novel until she had learned a bit more about writing such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot. After numerous short stories and articles in magazines and trade journals, she got serious about her novel writing. The Unflappable Miss Fairchild was her first novel to be published (March 1998).

Besides her novels, Regina Scott has had published three Regency novellas (“The June Bride Conspiracy” in His Blushing Bride, “Sweeter Than Candy” in A Match for Mother, and “A Place by the Fire” in Mistletoe Kittens). Two of her novels, A Dangerous Dalliance and The Twelve Days of Christmas, have been translated into German. A Dangerous Dalliance and The Incomparable Miss Compton have been translated into Italian. Starstruck and Perfection have been translated into Dutch.

Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in the Tri-Cities of southeast Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born in 1959 and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally–both her parents are excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician. Her mother envisioned the plot for “Sweeter Than Candy,” the novella which was written as a tribute to her.

Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Tour Schedule

December 4th:
Launch
underneath the covers
Becky on Books
Author Kathleen Denly
December 5th:
Nicole’s Book Musings
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Book Lover in Florida
Heidi Reads…
Jorie Loves A Story
December 6th:
Deal Sharing Aunt
Hearts & Scribbles
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
December 7th:
Reading Is My SuperPower
Paulette’s Papers
Christy’s Cozy Corners
I Am A Reader
December 8th:
Tell Tale Book Reviews
Backing Books
Locks, Hooks and Books
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
Janices Book Reviews
December 9th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will win an autographed print copy of His Frontier Christmas Family along with a set of rustic burnt-wood Christmas decorations the Wallin family would be pleased to own.
US only
Ends December 13th

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Grab Our Button!

 Let’s chat!

Have you ever faced an unexpected roadblock or life event that completely changed your plans for the future?

TWEETABLES:

Focusing on the past, wastes the present and poisons the future. #Romance #BookReview

Check out this #BookReview of Regina Scott’s latest novel, His Frontier Christmas Family!

Reading Update: Loves, Likes, & Losses

This past July I shared my Summer Reading List with you. As we are nearing the end of the year, I thought you might like a quick update on those books.

LOVE

Love Held Captive

Love Held Captive I loved this book! The next book in the series is on my TBR. You can read my full review, HERE.

LOVE

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and the Lionheart Did you know this book just won the 2017 Christy Award?! Oh wow, did it deserve it! I absolutely adored this singularly unique novel. I hope to share my review soon.

LIKE

Finders KeepersAll of You

Finders Keepers & All of You These are the first two books in Sarah Monzon’s Carrington Family series. While I enjoyed both novels, I think I preferred the first. You can see my full review of All of You and a mini review of Finders Keepers, HERE.

LOSS

Carolina Dream

Carolina Dream I remember starting this book and struggling to get into it. The pace was a bit slow for my taste and I didn’t feel connected to the characters. It may have been a victim of my struggle to concentrate during my travels in China this summer and no fault of the book at all. Either way, it wound up on my DNF list. I might try it again in the future.

LOSS

The Captive Brides Collection

The Captive Brides While I did finish this novella collection, I ultimately decided not to officially review it.  My reasons in a nutshell:  several of the stories went beyond my estimation of plausibility, the romance was more of an afterthought for a few of the stories than the main plot, and at least one author presented a view which I strongly disagreed with. That said, a couple of them were fun, quick reads with entertaining premises. Also, I do know there are other bloggers who fully enjoyed this collection. So take my opinion for what it is:  my opinion.

LOVE

Finding Love At the Oregon Coast

Finding Love at the Oregon Coast This was a thoroughly entertaining collection of contemporary romance novellas which I can confidently recommend. I enjoyed the fun way the collection began with one novella that included all the heroines in the following novellas. Each of these women were well-rounded, developed characters worthy of their staring roles.

LOSS

One Thousand White Women

One Thousand White Women – The real sour apple in the bunch. I loved the unique premise of this book, but the execution went in a direction I didn’t anticipate or care to read. It contained cursing and glorified situations I consider sinful. This is permanently on my DNF list.

LOVE

Turtles in the Road

Turtles in the Road The golden apple! I absolutely fell in love with this novel and have read it twice now – and I am NOT a rereader! I cannot say enough how much I just adore this novel! You can find my full review of this hilarious contemporary Christian romance, HERE.

WAITING

Beneath the golden veil

Beneath a Golden Veil This one breaks my heart because I have wanted to read it for so long and I still haven’t. I know. I know. I said I was going to read it and I fully intended to read this one on the plane to China. That was my downfall right there. I could not have concentrated on that flight to save my life. I knew better than to even attempt reading. And so this poor book is still languishing on my TBR list. *sigh* Soon. I will read this one soon.

WAITING

from this moment

From This Moment Another book I fully intended to read and just didn’t. I don’t know why. I have no excuse other than:  life. You know? That annoying thing that gets in the way of reading. Thus this one is also still waiting on my TBR list.

What about you? Do you ever make reading lists? Do you always finish them or are you like me and life gets in the way?

 

My Review – Love Held Captive

My Review - Love Held Captive

about-the-book-2

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

Why This Book:

My first attempt at a historical fiction novel was set in early nineteenth century Texas, so the setting of this novel immediately caught my attention.  Then the premise of a man falling for the woman whose home he previously raided absolutely hooked me. Guess that’s why they call it a “hook.” 😉

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

The Menger Hotel San Antonio, Texas
Thursday, October 31, 1867

She never should have had her back to the door.

First Impressions:

Above I shared the first line from the first Chapter because I felt it stood stronger as a stand alone sentence than the first sentence of the prologue. However, the prologue takes us through Ethan Kelly’s raid of Lizbeth Barclay’s home. For me, this prologue was the ultimate test of the author’s skill – to make us understand and care for a man raiding the home of an innocent, vulnerable, and clearly traumatized starving young woman. Fail here and I may despise the hero, leaving me no reason to continue reading. (Who wants to read a romance where an innocent woman falls for an evil man and that is the happily ever after?) Well, I am thrilled to report that Shelley Shephard Gray navigated this minefield with success and finesse. By the end of the prologue I may have questions about Ethan’s choices, but I don’t despise him and I want to see him succeed. So I keep reading.

Quote Image - Love Held Captive - Door

Characters:

Captain/Major Ethan Kelly – Son of a wealthy family, he has trouble adjusting to normal life after the war.

Lizbeth Barclay – Lost everything in the war – her home, her family, her sense of safety & self worth. Her dreams. When her path reunites with that of Ethan Kelly’s she isn’t living. She’s still just surviving.

Captain Devin Monroe –  A loyal friend, and the choosiest man I’ve ever read about, no woman has ever caught his fancy. Till he meets Julianne Van Fleet.

Julianne Van Fleet – Though she never approached the battle field, nor had her home raided, the war has left her with scars nonetheless. Hers just aren’t the visible kind.

Colonel Daniel Bushnell – (Yes, I know the description names him “Adam Bushnell”, but I assure you, in the novel his name is Daniel.) A twisted man with his own agenda, the power of his military rank went to his head and he isn’t ready to let the power go.

Quote Image - Love Held Captive - Spark

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

The stories behind these characters is emotionally powerful and as a reader I became immediately invested in seeing them succeed in finding healing and happiness. The story had me firmly in its grip all the way through to the end. I didn’t want to put it down and I didn’t want to say goodbye when it was over.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

The unique premise of this book is what hooked me and the author didn’t disappoint in her execution. Not only did this author present unique situations, but she provided fresh feeling characters to experience them.

Quote Image - Love Held Captive - Truth Ally

Themes:

Recovering from tragedy and making sense of it in the context of God’s goodness.

The difficulty of discerning right and wrong in tragic circumstances.

Forgiveness of self and others.

Ending:

Without giving too much away, I will say that I loved the twists the author took on her way to this novel’s conclusion. It’s very tempting to say more, but I don’t want to give anything away. Just trust me, you won’t be disappointed by the ending of this novel.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Did I mention Love Held Captive releases TOMORROW? 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)

Let’s chat!

Which part of this novel most appeals to you?

Have you ever encountered a hero you couldn’t stand? Did you finish that book? What makes you despise a hero?

If you’ve read this novel:  This author handles matters thoroughly dipped in gray – no black or white here – how do you think she did?

TWEETABLES:

He raided her home. Can he earn her trust and win her heart?

Will their past destroy their future?

He won’t let his power go. How many will pay the price?

Rising from tragedy, they must fight for their future.

I didn’t want to put it down, nor say goodbye when it was over. 

This story had me firmly in its grip all the way through the end. 

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos in this post for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !

 

Professional Reader
View Disclosure of Materials HERE.

 

First Line Friday – 8.11.17

first-line-friday-3

Whether you’re looking for a good book or just curious what others are reading, you’ve come to the right place. Each Friday I pick a book and share the first line with you. This week I am sharing the first line from Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Love Held Captive

Here’s the first line:

Johnson’s Island, Ohio

Confederate States of America Officers’ POW Camp January 1865

There was almost nothing there.

I found this book via NetGalley and I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review which I will be posting shortly. In the meantime, let me just say, when I peeked at the book to snag the first line for this post, I got so caught up that I had to force myself to stop reading halfway through chapter three. And I really did not want to stop! I cannot wait to finish reading it!

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head on over and share your first line with these friends:

Andi @ Radiant Light

Carrie @ Reading Is My Super Power

Rachel @ Bookworm Mama

Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books

Robin @ Robin’s Nest

Katie @ Fiction Aficionado

Bree @ Bibliophile Reviews

Beth @ Faithfully Bookish

Amanda @ With A Joyful Noise

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Trisha @ The Joy of Reading

Jeanette @ C Jane Read

Molly @ Molly’s Cafinated-Reads

CJ @ Moments Dipped In Ink

Heather @ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Sarah @ All the Book Blog Names are Taken

Lauraine @ Lauraine’s Notes

Summer Reading Roundup 2017 +GIVEAWAY!

Summer Reading Roundup 2017 +Giveaway

Hey everybody! Guess what today is? My birthday! So I thought I’d celebrate by sharing the list of books I’ll be reading this summer and giving away a book to one of you awesome readers! (Read through to the bottom for giveaway details.)

Since I will be traveling to China for an adoption next month, I won’t have as much free time to read this summer as I normally would. Therefore, this year’s list is somewhat limited, but here are the books I am hoping to get to:

Love Held Captive

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

Why:  I requested a free copy of this book from NetGalley to review because the premise intrigued me. Then I opened it to read the first line for an FLF post and couldn’t put it down! I made myself stop after 3 chapters because I have other books to finish first, but I can’t wait to get back to this one.

About the Book: 

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Why:  This one has made several rounds to rave reviews on the book blogger circuit, which got it on my TBR pile. Then I discovered the author is a fellow member of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild and met some of her friends at the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference last month. That made me curious enough to open it and read the first few pages. What I read moved it toward the top of my TBR pile. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to this one!

About the Book: 

Virginia, 1890

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Finders Keepers and All of You by Sarah Monzon

Why:  I loved her debut novel, The Isaac Project, so when I was offered the opportunity to be part of an upcoming tour for All of You, I jumped on it! Of course, I much prefer reading series books in order (even if they can be read as stand alones), so I am going to try to read Finders Keepers first. The fact that Finders Keepers won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance, is just added assurance that this will be time well spent.

About the Books: 

Finders Keepers

Three lives. Three hundred years. One ship that ties them together.

Florida, Present Day
Summer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious nature magazine, Our World–even diving in waters haunted by great white sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’-man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her dive locations, it may be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

A past tragedy has left a hole in Trent Carrington’s life–a hole he’s tried to fill with women, money, and adventure. Could the feisty marine photographer be the missing piece, or will Trent finally accept that the treasure he seeks can’t be found where rust and moths destroy?

Spain, 1689
The same evil that stole her mother’s life stalks Isabella Castellano. Afraid for her safety, Isabella disguises herself as a cabin boy and hires on to one of His Majesty’s treasure fleet vessels. But has her flight from a known threat only led her to be ensnared in a sea of dangers?

All of You

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

Carolina Dream

Carolina Dream by Regina Rudd Merrick

Why:  I recently won a free copy of this book from the God Is Love blog. It’s a debut novel (I love reading new authors), the premise sounds interesting, the reviews so far have been positive, and the first few pages read well.

About the Book: 

Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancée. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.

When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?

The Captive Brides Collection

The Captive Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hicky, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Lucy Thompson, and Gina Welborn

Why:  I was perusing NetGalley for books to request for review and found the premise for this novella collection to be intriguing. I am also fairly sure I haven’t read anything by any of these authors before, so it will be a good way to know whether I should be looking for more of their work in the future. Plus, a novella collection might be just the thing to fit between appointments near the end of summer.

About the Book: 

Love Brings Freedom in 9 Historical Romances

Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love?

Love’s Labour’s Found by Jennifer AlLee – Montserrat, West Indies, 1655
Temperance Simms only wanted a better life. Instead, she finds herself labeled a criminal and sold as an indentured servant. After a kind man saves her life, can Temperance trust that God will turn her sorrow into something beautiful?

His Indentured Bride by Angela Breidenbach – Pennsylvania, 1770-1775
Leaving Scotland for a short indenture with her betrothed, Maire Gree’s contract is sold when disaster strikes her kindly owner, and then extended through cruel circumstances. Can Kirk Lachlan’s service in the American Revolution save her or will she lose love and freedom forever?

The Suspect Bride by Susan Page Davis – Oregon, 1890s
Verity Ames cooks at the restaurant where shy lawyer Jack Whitwell eats lunch daily. As Jack works up courage to ask her for a date, the sheriff walks into the restaurant and arrests her for murder.

His Golden Treasure by Darlene Franklin – Barbary Coast, San Francisco, CA, 1873
Goldie Hatfield grows up on in the Barbary Coast until her guardian demands she pay the cost of her upbringing—or work at her brothel. How far will Pastor Joshua Kerr go to set Goldie free?

Through Stormy Waters by Patty Smith Hall – Atlantic Ocean, 1755
Deported to the British colonies for her father’s crimes, Charlotte Singleton helps Captain Andrew Randell when an epidemic breaks out on the ship. Can two battered hearts find love in the midst of a storm?

Moira’s Quest by Cynthia Hickey – New York, 1869
A quest for revenge ends in a marriage of convenience and a feisty Irish lass discovers that not everything is as it seems as family secrets are revealed. An Irish cop, bent on saving the fallen women of Five Points, New York, finds himself thrust into the role of husband with a woman determined to break down a notorious crime boss. Can these two pull together and find a love bigger than they are?

Love’s Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels – Virginia, 1850
With her life in peril, Lettie seeks escape from slavery. When Nathan offers to “conduct” her North via an unusual segment on the Underground Railroad, will his efforts help or do them both harm?

Waltzing Matilda by Lucy Thompson – Sydney, Australia, 1821
Henry didn’t plan on a runaway convict masquerading as a shepherd. Or on the woman’s baby. Keeping them safe will cost him his freedom—or will it?

A Score to Settle by Gina Welborn – On the Missouri River, 1870
For JoJo the kiss was a means to an end—she wanted his wallet. For Cyrus her kiss changed everything. He vows to help her escape the snake oil salesman she works for, but exposing the man’s lies may mean settling a score at a cost neither JoJo nor Cyrus can pay.

Finding Love At the Oregon Coast

Finding Love at the Oregon Coast – a novella collection by Angela Ruth Strong, Christina Coryell, Heather Whoodhaven,  and Lisa Phillips

Why:  When I was researching the small publishing company, Mountain Brook Ink, in preparation for attending the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference where the owner would be available for appointments, I discovered this collection with a novella by Christina Coryell. I recognized Coryell’s name as the author of one of my favorite stories (Mowed Over) from the Love at First Laugh novella collection.  So I bought this one because I liked one of the authors (I don’t recognize the others).

About the Book: 

When a wedding is cancelled, three bridesmaids and a runaway bride contemplate the true meaning of love in four related romance novellas.

By Heather Woodhaven–Finding Love in Lincoln City: Liz feels stuck at her little beach magazine until a handsome rival sparks more than just friendly competition.

By Lisa Phillips–Finding Love in Oceanside: Anabeth is looking to get out of her rut when a fender bender and a bizarre date with a former marine leads her to a life of love she could never have imagined.

By Christina Coryell–Finding Love in Cannon Beach: Kadence feels the pressure to write a perfect love song, but an unexpected meeting with a musician will have her living one instead.

By Angela Ruth Strong–Finding Love in Seaside: Christina plans to spend her honeymoon alone, but when the bed and breakfast owner offers her a position as cook, she starts to feel at home in his kitchen…and in his arms.

 

One Thousand White Women

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

Why:  I stumbled across this one purely by chance on Amazon and found the premise positively fascinating.

About the Book:

One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial “Brides for Indians” program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man’s world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.

Important UPDATE Note:  While I was aware that One Thousand White Women was written for the general market, as opposed to a Christian audience, at the time this post was originally written,  I was unaware of its occasional use of profanity and reference to subjects which some Christians may find distasteful or offensive. Consider yourself warned. This book made my DNF (Did Not Finish) list.

Turtles in the Road

Turtles in the Road by Rhonda Rhea & Kaley Rhea

Why:  This one was highly recommended on a fellow FLF blog and sounds like a fun read with a sense of humor.

About the Book: 

Sometimes a detour takes you exactly where you need to be.

Piper Cope was so sure the Lord called her to be a pastor’s wife. So when her pastor/fiancé breaks it off, she’s every kind of puzzled. Does God even have a purpose for her anymore? On the road halfway between the bridges she’s burned and some kind of new start, she encounters the most unexpected detour. She swerves on a rainy road to miss a turtle and ends up in a ditch with an airbag to the face. Now stuck in this little town, she wonders how in the world she could’ve gotten her God-signals so very crossed. And how in the world is she supposed to know what He wants her to do now? In the meantime, at least the community center guy, Jay Marler, has her working a temporary job there. Problem is, somehow she’s coaching a children’s basketball team. She does not…basketball. And she certainly does not children.

Beneath the golden veil

Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson

Why:  The connection to an lesser known part of California’s nineteenth century history will get me every time.

About the Book: 

As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. It’s 1853, the heyday of the California Gold Rush. Isabelle is full of hope, staking her claim on the city’s refined clientele and her future on a sweetheart’s promise to marry her when he returns from the gold fields. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path.

While Isabelle learns to trust God’s provisions, a law student in Virginia must confront his father’s cruelty and rescue a young slave from his family’s tobacco plantation. As the two escape to freedom, and Isabelle risks everything to harbor runaway slaves, the past and present are set on an inevitable collision course—one that reveals hidden treasures of the heart.

from this moment

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

Why:  I recently finished reading Against the Tide and want to read more of Elizabeth Camden’s work, plus I was able to snag this one on Audible which means I can listen to it while I do laundry or whatever brainless chore is taking me away from my precious books.

About the Book: 

Romulus White has tried for years to hire illustrator Stella West for his renowned scientific magazine. She is the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry.

But Stella abruptly quit the art world and moved to Boston with a single purpose: to solve the mysterious death of her beloved sister. Romulus, a man with connections to high society and every important power circle in the city, could be her most valuable ally.

Sparks fly the instant Stella and Romulus join forces, and Romulus soon realizes the strong-willed and charismatic Stella could disrupt his hard-won independence. Can they continue to help each other when their efforts draw the wrong kind of attention from the powers-that-be and put all they’ve worked for at risk?

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Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak

Why: I loved the first two books in Sondra’s Love That Counts series!

About the Book:  Although a little birdy told me to expect this release near the end of summer, it isn’t even out for pre-order yet so I don’t know much about this one. I only know what Sondra shared in her interview with me:

In Three Words and a Kiss (this year’s release), my hero Cam experiences an identity crisis. His safe, routine life is turned upside down when the owner of his blacksmith shop, Samantha Klein, comes to town. Samantha’s nickname is Sam. I wanted their names to rhyme so that Cam feels like even something as fundamental as his name is being stripped from him (she doesn’t like how their names sound alike and asks him to change his. What?! He’s not going for that).

Looking for more reading suggestions? Check out these post by fellow Christian Fiction lovers:

My Top 10 Anticipated Summer Reads & Why They Made the Cut by Chautona Havig

2017 Summer Reading List by Radiant Light

Summer Reading Roundup by Moments Dipped In Ink

Summer Reading List 2017 by A Baker’s Perspective

 

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How it works:

STEP 1 – Tweet or post (publicly) on Facebook the answer to this question & TAG ME @KathleenDenly :

  1. Which book would you like to win a copy of? (You may pick any book from this post OR any book which I have previously reviewed on this blog!)

(Your tweet/FB post could read:  I’m hoping to win BOOK TITLE HERE from @KathleenDenly!)

STEP 2 –  Leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question –

  1. Which of the books in my Summer Reading Roundup 2017 post sound the most appealing to you? (I will add the most popular book to my list of books to review here on the blog!)

RULES:

MUST complete both steps to enter. Shares and comments must be complete by midnight July 17th! Winner will be announced in a special post on this blog July 19th. Winner must contact me at writeKathleenDenly@gmail.com within 24 hours of the announcement and provide an email address for prize delivery.

WINNER WILL RECEIVE:  1 digital copy of their chosen book delivered to their email via Amazon.